Ever since weed became legal in some American states, I feel like I’m living in a cloud of smoke all the time.

Ok, that might be an exaggeration.

But seriously. It’s like everyone in the world smokes, smoked, or is about to smoke pot; and below my apartment, it smells like weed for miles around. For a minute there, I thought it was coming from the windows of the university campus nearby (I live in the neighborhood by NYU) but no, it happens to be a couple of retired people who love to smoke a little joint on the steps of their building at the end of the day (so they told me with a wink).

It’s not even legal yet in New York, guys. Wowowo, come on.

It doesn’t matter to me either way: I don’t smoke.
I know, it’s anti-rebel and anti-cool, but let me tell you for two seconds what it does to me…

Marijuana came into my life on a summer evening.

I was with my skater friends (I won’t tell you how young we were – it’s shameful) and one of them (one of the new guys, who was older, more handsome, and a better skateboarder than the other guys) took out some kind of brown thing (hash, which is more common in France than in the US, where people tend to smoke weed)(and is, in France as well, mostly illegal) and started rolling a joint.

We all tried it, obviously: I don’t have to tell you about the pressure to be cool when you’re in a group of skaters. It’s hell. Saying no would have immediately ruined the vibe.
So I tried it. I hated the taste but I didn’t say anything, and then it seemed like it wasn’t really doing anything to me. A few hours later, we left with two friends who lived close to me, and once we were away from the beautiful, older, and more experienced skater (ok, let’s call him BO&MES) out came the real talk:

Me: “It doesn’t even do anything. It sucks. Plus, it tastes disgusting.”
First friend: “I like the taste, but it doesn’t really do much. Alcohol is way stronger.”
Second friend: “Are you guys crazy!!! It’s SO coool, I love it so much, this feeling, omg it’s amazing (ok we probably didn’t say omg back then, probably something more like “this so rocks”) I wanna buy some!!!”

I thought he was exaggerating slightly, but I didn’t want to kill his vibe.
When I finally got home, I had this weird hunger.
I ransacked the kitchen, and then went to sleep.

A few months later, that second friend had dreadlocks, was listening to Bob Marley (who he was calling “Bob”, of course) all the time, and spent a lot more time rolling (joints) than rolling (on his skateboard). Uhuhuh.
That’s when I figured out that for some people, that kind of thing automatically becomes a life style. And pretty caricatural, for some.
I started to hate “Bob”.
But since I like to persevere even with things stupid, it took me a few more years to really understand that it just wasn’t for me. I also have to report that since after that night on the beach with BO&MES, I had the weird feeling that pot was following me around wherever I went. Suddenly it was showing up with all of the people I was hanging out with. Was it a trend, was it just growing up or was it that all the people around me where bad seeds?

My skater friends. My musician friends. Friends at school. My boyfriends. My girl friends. My friends’ parents. Everyone was smoking. Was I the only one not having fun or were the others also pretending?
I felt like I was not invited to the fun pot high – I totally had GanjFOMO.

Why didn’t it work for me?
How come every time I took a drag, I immediately felt intense nausea, and then wanted to eat everything I could get my hands on, especially cookies, and then I’d get an irresistible urge to sleep?

[I would fall asleep pretty much anywhere. I would feel the sleepiness come, and sneak out to any place I spotted. My friends were used to finding me comfortably dreaming in other people’s bedrooms (alone, of course, what were you imagining?) In other people’s bathtubs (empty, of course, and yes it hurts your back). On the couch right in the middle of the party. On top of a speaker during a rave party, etc…]

Anyway, I persevered.

– I tried having someone shotgun it to me. It’s still as gross as a joint, but at least it’s kind of sexy, I thought to myself as I asked BO&MES to do it.
Result: Ok. It’s sexy for about two seconds. But it burns and it’s twelve times stronger. So for me it was nausea + cookies + sleep, but three times faster.

– Then I tried weed. I mainly remember laughing so hard I peed my pants, followed by major nausea. I spent the night feeling anxious and pouring sweat while I watched the ceiling change shapes. “Oh yeah, that skunk weed is kind of strong” my friend said right after I’d taken a hit off the joint.

– Then I tried a bong. Ok actually I didn’t: I saw my friends do it and it depressed me. It seemed too much like a drug thing.
Besides, just the second hand smoke in that room was enough for me to send me to my nausea + cookies + sleep combo.

– I finally learned my lesson and half pretended to smoke (I hadn’t yet acquired a personality, which really comes in handy for saying things like “no thanks, I don’t smoke”) and half took on the role of the one who rolled all the joints for everyone (rolling joints is a great pastime for not getting bored when your friends are completely stupid because they’re smoking joint after joint)(This was before Angry Birds) so I tried rolling a twelve paper joint one night when a friend had the great idea of doing a joint rolling contest (these were some high quality friends)(the worst part is, you’re probably imagining a group of dirty punk kids, but we weren’t like that at all! most of them were law or med students)(okay, everybody knows med students are the worst)(let’s just say all the marijuana was to help deal with the pressure of school) and I had the brilliant idea that I’d be the one to win the joint rolling contest (that was a high quality Garance).
Result: When you manage to roll a twelve paper joint and you win the joint rolling contest, you’re pretty much obligated to smoke it. Nausea x 12, cookies x12 (boxes of Oreos), sleep x 12.

– Then I tried eating it. We made a pot brownie, as I was telling myself that maybe it was because I was smoking it that it wasn’t working for me. And with that, I can’t even describe the feeling, it was like suddenly I was flying, I was completely flaccid, it was like my body was getting away from me. It seemed kind of funny on the inside, but on the outside I have no idea what I looked like. Everything seemed hilarious. For no reason.
Basically, we just laughed for no reason. Does laughing count when it’s for no reason? (And other philosophical questions I asked myself as I was waking up 20 hours later with a major pot hangover).
Then afterward, nausea and sleep (I’d had enough sweets). Honestly, it was pretty pointless.

And after that, I finally understood once and for all: marijuana makes me hungry and puts me to sleep, so basically it makes me fat and boring. SO MAYBE IT WAS TIME TO STOP WITH THE NONSENSE.

I quit. I found my personality. I became “the girl who doesn’t smoke” (my personality has other sides to it, but that’s a topic for another day) and I wasn’t afraid to say so. So much better. So much funnier. Cooler. Better parties.

I don’t judge anyone else for doing it, I still love my friends who smoke and fortunately, as time has gone by, they don’t do too many joint rolling contests anymore. I just know it isn’t for me.
I’m a wise person now – and I know that, as Bob Marley used to say:

“The day you stop racing is the day you win the race”.

Oh yeah, by the way – “Bob.” Now that I don’t smoke anymore, I loooooooove him.

Translated by Andrea Perdue